Yotes lose tough opener in NAIA National Championships

Yotes lose tough opener in NAIA National Championships
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – Alex Santiago led four College of the Ozarks players in double-figures with 24 points, as the host Bobcats stunned second-seed College of Idaho, 88-84, in the first round of the NAIA Division II National Championship in Keeter Gymnasium.

C of O (22-10) connected on a season-best 61-percent of their field goals in improving to 9-6 in first-round games at home in the tournament knocking off a Top-3 seed for the second-straight year.

It marked the first time since 1993 that a No. 2 seed lost in their opening round game (then host Northwest Nazarene defeated No. 2 Grace).

A 15-2 run over the final four minutes of the first half propelled the Bobcats to a 13-point halftime lead. The Yotes (28-6) cut the margin to two twice in the second half – but could not get closer. C of I had a shot to tie in the final 10 seconds, but a Demetrius Perkins three rimmed out.

Perkins led the Yotes with 21 points, as C of I equaled their second-best overall record in program history, joining the 1987-88 team that advanced to the national quarterfinals.